I thought I understood the alternative forms of driving. After all, I grew up learning to drive in India, sharpened my abilities as a teenager in the US, and refined my skills in the UK. Between Bangalore, New York, San Francisco, the Rockies, Canada, Corvallis, Florida, Washington D.C., London, rural England, and Europe. I had seen an extraordinary variety of driving conditions, styles, and methods. There is more that I could add to the list, but they are mere variations on one or more of the scenes outlined above.
I had seen the extremes; at least I thought I had until I traveled by tuuk-tuuk in Cambodia. The nuance I had never experienced is driving without stopping. Not just the vehicle I was in, every vehicle! There was no sense or requirement that anyone stopped, except for a traffic light (rare). The method was simple flowing, ebbing, and flexibly merging in and with each other. It worked in a wonderfully scary way in blind intersections, four way intersections, and even one-way streets with two-way traffic. It was wonderfully chaotic in a way that worked.
As much as it worked in Siem Reap, I do not believe it would work anywhere else. While it appeared to work in one location, I am not sure it really did. There are large chunks in my life that appear to be working. I wonder if I am stuck in a Cambodian window, unaware that there are alternatives ways of living and engaging with others. The wonderful thing is that each day is a new opportunity to learn in ways never imagined. We can be God’s kids, forever discovering new ways of exercising compassion, giving mercy, and extending acceptance.
Yesterday’s cup does not need to be today’s. We can be recreated in God’s image, one moment at a time. “Your Master, your God, has something to say, your God has taken up his people's case: ‘Look, I've taken back the drink that sent you reeling. No more drinking from that jug of my anger!” (Isaiah 51.22) It is learning time.
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